Springbank Local Barley 10 yo – review

Local Barley take 3… right. This is the 3rd release in the highly acclaimed ‘local barley’ range, by the adorable Springbank distillery. You have got to like this distillery, don’t you? It’s operating like the olden times, no computers, and they are clearly not interested in making more money, but making good whisky, which they are doing indeed. The previous two editions in the ‘Local Barley’ range were a bit older with the first one matured for 16 years (read my review here) , and the 2nd one matured for 11 years.
Since we’re talking Barley varieties here, it’s also worth mentioning that this time around, the distillery chose to use a different variety of barley – Belgravia (Belgravia is a spring malting barley with a high yield potential, medium length straw and very good all-round disease resistance, Belgravia is slightly earlier to mature than Concerto, and has an excellent disease resistant package. In Scottish trials, Belgravia has shown very good resistance to Ramularia and excellent green leaf retention. ), the previous editions were using Bere Barley and Prisma. Since we’re talking Local here, it’s also worth mentioning where the barley is grown : West Back farm, located about 4 miles from the distillery. The entire process of milling, mashing, fermenting and distillation is , of course, done at the distillery. Wood regime is quite straightforward as well  70% bourbon casks en 30% percent sherry casks.
Getting hold of a bottle of the local barley is not easy, since they do sell quickly, and quite a few end up sold on auctions, or at high prices in some whisky shops..  There are only 9,000 such bottles around, and they are all sold out on the primary market long ago. At any rate, the previous editions were excellent, and this one is a highly intriguing whisky as well.. for us, SB fans.

Springbank 10 Years Old Local Barley 57,3%

Nose: quite nice with creamy ‘dirty’  vanilla, butterscotch, and some scotch tablet, it’s definitely a Springbank, with a hint of peat smoke, and a certain vegetal oil quality to it. So far so good!
Palate : oily and big, with motor oil,  black pepper, fennel seeds, barley, but not quite sweet, a Salty edge to it, vanilla but not quite the sweet stuff, it’s not creamy as you might imagine… More peppery heat and a bitter linger, mostly on burnt toasted bread.
Finish: dry, bitter, white pepper, hints of barley, salted dough.


This is a lovely whisky indeed, and Springbank fans will enjoy it quite a bit. Having said that, if you can get it around 80 EUR, it’s a good deal in today’s whisky climate, but some shops were charging 140 EUR or so, and at this price, I am not sure i would get one. It’s good, but it’s not as good as the 16, or the 11 IMHO (although some would say it’s younger, so…). At any rate, if most distilleries were making whisky that good, we’d be delighted. So, good work Springbank, keep it up! If you’re a Springer fan, you want a bottle of this, so grab one if and when you can.

Score: 89/100

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